- Govt Targets 27,500 Jobs With Cleaner Lagos Initiative
The Lagos State Government has unveiled a scheme to effectively and efficiently manage solid waste.
According to the government, the scheme known as the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, is an extensive and sustainable waste management system that is expected to provide permanent solution to waste recycling, recovery and reduction challenges that have dimmed the shine of the state for decades.
It also offers an innovative approach to liquid waste management, drainage management and wastewater treatment, and is expected to create employment for about 27,500 community sanitation workers.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, noted that CLI qualified as a mass employment scheme that would also contribute to improving the environment and socio-economic conditions of the residents of the state.
He said it was an unprecedented employment creation strategy and would create an enabling environment for non-governmental agencies, the private sector as well as the state government to harness opportunities presented by the adoption of international best practices in waste management infrastructure development.
He said, “The cardinal aims of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative are to create value for stakeholders and to empower those at the bottom of the value chain. It will allow citizens to become a part of the solution by taking responsibility for their immediate environment by solving the challenge of poor waste management in their communities.
“While these jobs are important, the induced effect of higher spending power is where we hope to create about 400,000 to 500,000 jobs. These jobs are those generated as a result of the increased expenditure in the supply and distribution chains from the new employees’ spending power, which is evident by their capacity to spend more money in the general economy.
“As a revolutionary effort designed to reposition the state, the Cleaner Lagos Initiative seeks to fully develop sufficient infrastructure for waste collection, efficient waste processing and disposal mechanism in line with the state’s environmental objectives. The local multiplier effect of a progressive policy that pays above the federally mandated minimum wage in distributional terms is immeasurable.”
According to the commissioner, the impact of the scheme on low-income households will be particularly beneficial, not only to the direct beneficiaries within households, but also to the local economy as higher spending by workers typically results in increased demand for goods and services within the local communities.
Adejare added, “The relentless effort of this administration in providing employment for out-of-work youths who make up almost 50 per cent of the entire Lagos population is commendable. The state government hopes to ultimately drive meaningful job growth and create opportunities in entirely new industries.
“Wage increase as a result of the injection of thousands of locally established jobs into the state’s economy will also translate to overall improvement in public finances, thereby acting as a catalyst for the delivery of social and economic values across the state.”
He noted that after a scoping study that thoroughly assessed the current situation of the waste management infrastructure in Lagos, the state government acknowledged systemic failures and immediately commenced the revision of the legislative framework to harmonise the various laws on environment into a single one for a more convenient administration and management of the environment.
He added that there had also been an emphasis on putting in place an elaborate and standardised regulation on environment management.
The commissioner added, “Having set the legal groundwork, the state government adopted a holistic approach to addressing the unique problems facing the megacity of 22 million people and designing a sustainable waste management system.
“In collaboration with the ministries of the Environment, Justice, Physical Planning and Urban Development, the state developed strategies for regulation, enforcement and most importantly, financing to support the initiatives. Over the past 10 months, these efforts have been shaped into the Cleaner Lagos Initiative.”
He stated that the role of the Private Sector Participants in the restructuring of the waste management system going forward would be to serve the commercial sector, adding that the positive impact that the PSPs efforts had over the years on the Lagos landscape was undeniable.
The commissioner explained, “We cannot deny that the state needs a comprehensive waste management system similar to what obtains in more advanced nations of the world and other mega cities. Currently, we do not have an existing structure in place to support such endeavours.
“The restructuring will benefit the PSP operators because the state plans to introduce new environmental policies and laws that will not only protect the citizens and the environment, but all waste management operators who painstakingly invest their resources in helping with the clean-up of Lagos.”